The New Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra Website Hits a High Note


St. Louis is extremely musically inclined. From the Muny singing its way throughout our summers to our ever present song “Meet me in St. Louis,” our city has sung, played and hosted many crescendos in music. And, there is one organization who has been here for many of our city’s milestones: the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra has been a staple within the St. Louis community for almost 150 years. Considering the SLSO’s wealth of history, experience and memories, Paradigm was excited to help them improve their website design, functionality, site architecture, search engine optimization and content strategy.

Setting the Stage for Something New

In early 2022, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra announced the renovation of the historic home of the symphony orchestra, Powell Hall. That announcement sparked ideas among their marketing department to reconsider their website goals. When the SLSO team came to us, they wanted a website redesign that would connect with all who encounter them — from families and annual subscribers, to first-time visitors and generations of donors.

“When the orchestra’s website project was in its early stages, we knew right away that one of the biggest impacts we could make to both SEO and user experience was an updated site navigation and architecture,” our SEO Strategist Hannah said. “As a well-established website housing years’ worth of rich content, there was a great opportunity to reorganize the site’s numerous pages to better leverage their value.”

After evaluating every page on the SLSO’s domain, we created a new website architecture — that included new and migrated pages — and an updated website navigation with a mega menu. The utilization of a mega menu helped nestle content beneath relevant parent pages. For example, “Plan Your Visit” features child pages such as finding venues, enhancing experiences and more prior to attending performances.

This process allowed us to keep track of content, SEO and technical considerations, effectively manage the project and set the foundation for future pages on the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra website.

Composing Critical Content for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra Website

With a new site architecture comes a new plan for integrating relevant keywords and essential content into the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra website redesign. With the sheer volume of content, our copywriting team collaborated closely with the SLSO team to write, edit and migrate content into the new website platform.

“The SLSO’s new architecture required the creation of new pages and combined content from existing pages,” Senior Copywriter Mary said. “Before we could even begin writing, we had to ensure the voice of the SLSO was consistent across all pages. We took ample time between our team and the SLSO team to solidify the direction, develop content to appeal to all audiences and drive conversions toward ticket sales, programming and educational opportunities.”

Our copywriting team worked closely with our SEO team to blend their unique voice with relevant keywords across new and existing pages. The new content brought a fresh look to their home page and unified all pages together under the same tune. Additionally, we were able to clearly communicate to website visitors that the SLSO is still actively conducting its concerts outside of Powell Hall during its renovation phase with curated venue pages detailing this season’s concert locations.

Drumming Out the Design Details

With the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in the thick of a redesign and renovation project for Powell Hall, they wanted their orchestra’s website design to flow with the changes. Our design team went to work to streamline their user journey, weave in dynamic elements and create a “stand out look” that felt like the symphony and showed its evolution.

“One of the most unique aspects of the site design was the UX of the site architecture itself,” Creative Director Katie said. “ This site had over 100 pages that were relevant to various audience members at different points in their journeys. The challenge for us was how to create a hierarchical navigation system that was concise enough for new visitors to find what they were looking for, but not so concise that it alienated return users who use the site repeatedly for one or two actions.”

We first turned our focus to the home page — creating a design that wove the gradient into their headers, navigation bar and additional headers. From there, the rest of the website design took shape across interior child and grandchild pages, housing content directly from the SLSO and outside sources in a cohesive manner. For example, the Watch and Listen page effortlessly merges embedded video links from their YouTube channel onto their site.

An image of the Watch and Listen page on the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra website.

The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra website’s look showcases the symphony’s time in transition while adding extra excitement with pops of color, a visual mega navigation menu and vibrant symphony photography.

Working Behind the Curtain

Getting a website up and running involves diligent work in the backend of the website. Our web developers managed a variety of tasks, including data management, API integrations for the SLSO’s events calendar and ticketing and ensuring the website was mobile friendly. For our developers, one of their greatest challenges of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra’s website lay in the events and ticketing integration.

“Integrating their events and ticketing API into the new website was a fun challenge,” Web Developer Shane said. “It was tricky to fetch the data and utilize it in a meaningful format. This included date codes and getting a direct link for the customer to purchase a ticket. Additionally, for the events spanning multiple days, we worked to get the events ‘grouped’ together and show a date span, instead of individual dates. This was a new challenge that kept our attention.”

In addition to API integrations, our developers seamlessly wove the custom design elements into their content management system (CMS). The templated pages allow the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra team to quickly update content, create new pages for future programming and share the latest events in their calendar.

Explore the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

As the SLSO inches ever closer to the reopening of Powell Hall, this new website launches them into a new era in St. Louis. We are proud to play a part in the next phase of their history.

For more website projects, visit our work page to discover our latest websites and other digital projects.